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October 16, 2021 - 12:00pm

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October 16, 2021 - 11:39am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, O-AT-KA Milk Products, cybersecurity.

O-At-Ka Milk Products’ information technology team is working with law enforcement and cybersecurity experts in the wake of “a sophisticated cyber-attack” that began earlier this week.

Bill Schreiber, chief executive officer of the milk processing plant at Cedar Street and Ellicott Street Road, confirmed to The Batavian that the ransomware attack started on Thursday night and affected to varying degrees company computers, time clocks and other equipment.

“O-At-Ka did experience a sophisticated cyber-attack, and our team responded immediately and has been working around the clock to remedy the situation and resume normal operations,” he said. “We have been working with law enforcement and industry experts to investigate and recover from the attack.”

Schreiber said O-At-Ka routinely prepares for such attacks and “the contingencies we put in place have been effective in restoring and maintaining our business functions.”

“Our customers have been minimally impacted and we continue to work with them on a routine basis to ensure ongoing operations and business continuity,” he said. “I’m thankful for the team’s continued hard work and efforts in response to the attack.”

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October 16, 2021 - 11:08am

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“In today’s society, people want it now and if you don’t have it, they may go someplace else.”

With that statement, Guy Clark, owner of Cedar Street Sales & Rentals, articulated a retail principle that motivated him and his sons, Connor and Adam, to construct a 6,000-square foot warehouse across the street from the business that has been a fixture in Batavia for the past 28 years.

The Clarks hosted a Genesee County Chamber of Commerce “Business After Hours” event on Thursday evening, attracting about 50 people to the 60- by 100-foot building that can house a couple hundred Cub Cadet lawn mowers and snowblowers.

Clark provided a quick recap of the thought process behind the company’s expansion.

“This lot came with the property across the street but it was just an empty, vacant lot that was overgrown for years,” he said. “Every year, we’d get crates and crates of lawn mowers and we’d had nothing to do with them – no place to put them. We put them together as you sold them – keeping them out back (at 111 Cedar St.) and it became a crowded mess.”

He said he got together with Connor and Adam, both college graduates with business degrees, and they sketched out a design on paper and came up with a plan.

“And now we have this building with beautiful loading dock where we can unload tractor-trailers on a regular basis,” Clark said.

Recently, the national sales manager for Cub Cadet visited the warehouse and was impressed, Clark noted.

“He said this is the future … and he took a lot of pictures,” he said. “Around March 1st, we’ll have 150 mowers completely ready to go in this building.”

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Photo at top: Guy Clark, Chamber of Commerce President Erik Fix, Adam Clark and Connor Clark; photo at bottom: Inside view of the Cedar Street Sales & Rentals warehouse. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

October 16, 2021 - 8:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Billie Owens, thebatavian, news, batavia, notify.

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Billie Faye Owens, 63, editor of The Batavian from 2010 to 2021, died at Rochester General Hospital on Friday evening from complications from congestive heart failure.

She was taken to United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia with health issues on July 26 and remained hospitalized for 81 days. At no time did she test positive for COVID-19.

She was born in 1958 in Charlotte, N.C., to Barbara Jean Carter and Billie Eugene McSwain. Her mother moved her when she was 5 to San Diego where she would eventually attend San Diego State University, earning a B.A. in Journalism.

She went to work for the Daily Californian in El Cajon, Calif. in 1989, where she met her second husband, Howard Owens, then a wire and copy editor at the Daily Californian, and currently publisher of The Batavian. They were married on the campus of Point Loma Nazarene College in 1993.

Her journalism career began with an internship at the Los Angeles Times and included stints at the San Diego Business Journal, the Ventura County Star, and the Canandaigua Daily Messenger.

She won numerous regional and statewide journalism awards in San Diego for her writing and reporting.

She was passionate about her craft and one thing Howard and Billie bonded over quickly was the fact they both had substantial collections of books about journalism, which has grown to more than 400 titles over the years.  They also both enjoyed old movies with main characters who were reporters and editors.

She loved animals and was upset by anybody who abused animals.  She made it a mission to publish reports of people leaving dogs in hot cars and made local animal abuse cases her beat in Genesee County.  She was also well-known for her colorful reports of lost and missing pets and shelter animals in need of adoption.

In 2015, Howard and Billie adopted Rocky, a mix-breed pit bull who had been abused by a previous owner.  Rocky succumbed to cancer on July 31.

Billie is survived by her husband and three grandchildren, whom she loved.  Her mother, Barbara France, passed away in December in San Diego. 

In lieu of flowers or condolences, donations can be made to Volunteers for Animals in the name of Billie and Rocky.  There will be no local service. Her wishes were that her ashes be deposited in the Pacific Ocean off the Ventura County Pier, where the ashes of her son, Charles Raymond Sutherland, were deposited in 2018.

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October 16, 2021 - 8:47am

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“Good for your garden, good for your community, good for your planet” – and, in the eyes of Genesee County Planning Board members, good enough for a location on Wright Road in the Town of Alabama.

Planners on Thursday night recommended approval of a site plan for EcoVerde Organics, LLC, of Buffalo, to own and operate a compost facility on a portion of a 27-acre parcel in an Industrial zone at 396 Wright Rd.

The company, which was formed in 2017 by entrepreneur Warren Emblidge Jr., uses the motto above as it promotes environmental and social ecosystem improvement through composting.

EcoVerde Assistant Chief Katy Duggan appeared at the planning board meeting at County Building 2 on West Main Street Road.

“We’re a small company that was started by a local businessman (Emblidge, EcoVerde’s chief) who had been successful (in other ventures) for many years,” Duggan said. “He got the idea of sustainability and the next step was to get some composting going.”

Duggan, in her third year with the company, said EcoVerde had a composting plant in East Aurora but now is focused on this site in the Town of Alabama.

“We work with people, businesses and others in our local community to source our inputs, then make and sell quality soil amendments like compost,” she explained. “Our products improve soil to support plant growth with less chemical fertilizer and less nutrient run-off into waterways to protect our natural environment.

“We look forward to operating in Genesee County where we can support its goal of agricultural preservation.”

She said that a new food scraps law in New York State requires businesses and institutions that generate a certain amount of food scraps to donate usable food and to recycle what’s left.

“So, some of this is in preparation for that,” she said.

A former recycling sustainability coordinator and educator, Duggan developed the Lewiston Art Festival recycling and food waste composting program, and developed food waste collection and waste audit services for commercial customers.

Plans for the Alabama facility are to process source-separated organics, manure and yard waste (specifically food scraps), solid manure/bedding, select food processing waste and crop residue, and leaf and yard waste from municipalities and landscape professionals. Biosolids will not be accepted.

Duggan said activity won’t begin until after final approval from the Town of Alabama Planning Board, which was scheduled to meet this Monday, but has cancelled that session.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has granted EcoVerde approval to operate the compost facility, she said, limiting production to 7,500 cubic yards per year. She said customers will include farmers (organic and market), landscapers, gardeners and homeowners.

“We will start by bringing material into the plant, initially manure and yard waste, and since compost takes three months to make, we plan to start selling it in the spring,” Duggan added.

The planning board’s recommendation of approval is contingent upon EcoVerde obtaining a stormwater permit from the DEC if it disturbs more than one acre of land, and registering with the GLOW Solid Waste Management Committee and reporting the amount of material recovered by the facility to the GLOW Recycling Coordinator.

Planning Board member Tom Schubmehl also requested that Duggan reach out to leaders of the neighboring Tonawanda Seneca Nation to mitigate any odor or other issues caused by prevailing winds. She said that she would be agreeable to that.

In other action, the board recommended approval of:

  • A special use permit to combine two parcels into one Commercial zone to accommodate New York Bus Sales’ new 20,000-plus-square foot school bus service/sales facility at the corner of West Saile Drive and Call Parkway in the Town of Batavia.

Lauren Rodriguez, civil engineer with LaBella Associates, said the facility will cover seven acres, with minimal security lighting and fencing.

One of the board’s concerns was that on-site lighting would not shine directly onto neighboring properties or cause a hazard for motorists.

The project application has been accepted by the Genesee County Economic Development Center,

  • The addition of four storage units to the current seven at West Batavia Storage at 8550 Wortendyke Rd. in the Town of Batavia, with the on-site lighting stipulation.
  • An area variance for Har-Go Farms in Pavilion to construct a 6,300-square foot barn addition in an Agricultural-Residential (AR-1) District.

Photo: Katy Duggan of EcoVerde Organics presents the company's site plan to Genesee County Planning Board members, clockwise from bottom, Laraine Catan, Planning Director Felipe Oltramari, Jill Gould, Richard Richmond II, Legislator John Deleo, Robert Bennett, Eric Biscaro, Tom Schubmehl, Deputy Director Erin Pence. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

Previously: GCEDC board of directors accepts application for New York Bus Sales facility in Town of Batavia

October 15, 2021 - 5:38pm
posted by Joanne Beck in breast cancer, cancer screening, news, UMMC.

Cancer prevention and early detection are at the top of Lisa Franclemont’s work agenda each day, especially as COVID-19 has kept many people away from the doctor’s office.

“A lot of people avoided their screenings, and there were more late-stage diagnoses,” Franclemont said Thursday. “People still need to have their screenings.”

As Cancer Services Program coordinator for Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming, and Niagara counties (GOWN), Franclemont wants to spread the word that there is a financial help for those without health insurance to obtain those necessary screenings. Genesee County Legislature gave the health educator a proclamation Wednesday for her work in this field. Her message is especially fitting, given that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month.

“There’s no reason why anyone doesn’t have a mammogram now,” she said. 

Franclemont has been a longtime staple at United Memorial Medical Center’s Healthy Living program in Batavia. When she began 15 years ago, this program was only available in Genesee County, she said. 

“Now it’s in every county in New York State,” she said. 

What & Who is Covered ...

The grant-funded GOWN program provides free breast and cervical cancer screenings for women 40 and older and colorectal cancer screenings for men and women 50+. According to Cancer Services Program literature, breast cancer is most often discovered in women 50 and older and colon cancer also targets men and women in that same age bracket. Cervical cancer has been more often found in women that had never been screened before. 

Most health insurance companies cover these screenings at no cost to patients, but the uninsured aren’t so fortunate. That’s where Franclemont comes in: to educate and encourage people without medical insurance to call her at 585-344-5494 to ask questions, determine if they are eligible, and set up an appointment. For anyone out of the area, or that may have concerns outside of regular work hours, there is also a toll-free number available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-866-442-2262. Hablamos Español. There are translation services for other languages.

Another layer of protection for those uninsured is the Medicaid Treatment Act, Franclemont said. That will not only pay for cancer screenings, but also for the required diagnostics. So, for example, if a woman has a mammogram and receives a cancer diagnosis, she will be able to also obtain an ultrasound and a biopsy, as warranted, and covered by the Medicaid act would also pay for those services. 

Breast Cancer: Symptoms & Stats ...

One in every eight women is diagnosed with breast cancer, program literature states. A mammogram has been the best way to find it, and symptoms may include a lump or pain in the breast, or changes in shape; irritation of the breast skin or nipples, such as itchiness, redness or flaking; and/or dimples in the breast skin, it states. Again, for emphasis: this program offers free breast cancer screening for eligible uninsured New York residents in every county and borough. 

Breast cancer screenings are recommended every two years for women aged 50 to 74, unless other factors prompt an earlier screening, such as having a family history of breast cancer, being overweight, not getting enough exercise, late menopause of age 55 or older, and never having given birth or doing so at age 30 or older.
Colon cancer screenings for men and women are recommended to begin at age 50. Doctors are the largest source of referrals for Franclemont’s program, she said, and it’s, therefore, crucial to maintaining contact with one’s primary care physician or other health care provider.

Don't Want to Go Out? Stay Home ...

Another option for colon cancer screening is the colon kit, she said, which is an at-home test that has been shown to have an 80 percent efficacy rate. If something shows up in the kit, uninsured people would then be able to get a free colonoscopy, she said. 

The biggest point is to just get screened. Medical facilities are following protocols and “using precautions” by ensuring staff is vaccinated and masked, which makes them safe places to visit, she said. 

“It’s important that people still get screenings during the pandemic,” Franclemont said. “If people have any problems, they should call their doctors. Don’t ignore changes.”

The Cancer Services Program provides breast, cervical, and colon cancer screening at no cost to men and women who qualify. So, as related flyers state: Get screened, no excuses! For more information, call 585-344-5494.

If you’re in need of health insurance and live in New York State, you can check out the New York State of Health at nystateofhealth.ny.gov or call 1-855-355-5777.
 

October 15, 2021 - 3:06pm

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Update: 6:30 p.m. -- See bottom of the story

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The chief executive officer at O-At-Ka Milk Products today said engineers at the Upstate Niagara cooperative-owned milk processing plant are prepared to present alternatives that would satisfy the City of Batavia and bring an end to a situation that is forcing the company to spend $25,000 to $30,000 per day hauling wastewater away from the facility.

The problem, however, according to Bill Schreiber, is that city management will not sit down with officials from O-At-Ka and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to iron out what he calls “a three-party solution that would be a win-win for everyone involved.”

Schreiber and John Gould, owner of Har-Go Farms in Pavilion and chairman of the board for Upstate Niagara, a consortium of 300 dairy farmers, spoke to The Batavian this morning.

They expressed their dismay over not being able to deposit all of its wastewater into the city’s Waste Water Treatment Plant and “a lack of urgency” from the city.

Gould brought this issue to public light at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting when he informed lawmakers of the staggering costs to haul the wastewater away from O-At-Ka.

Several minutes later, he learned from City Attorney George Van Nest that the municipality had no choice but to enforce a cease-and-desist letter it sent to O-At-Ka after discovering that discharge levels from the Cedar Street plant were above permitted limits.

Van Nest said the DEC sent a notice of violation to the city, threatening enforcement action and large fines because of the oxygen levels in the ponds.

Gould: 'There's Something Wrong Here'

Gould’s anger with the city’s stance came through in his comments earlier today.

“Back to the Council meeting, Mr. Van Nest, puts the fear of God into them with the DEC. So, everybody’s fearful of each other and we’re getting nothing done,” he said. “There was more discussion about who was paying for Christmas in the City then there was about the largest employer in the city and the economic impact upon it. There’s something wrong here.”

Contacted today, City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. said Council is leaving the matter in the hands of Van Nest, City Manager Rachael Tabelski and engineers working with the city.

“We’re following the advice of our attorney, which is basically telling Mr. Gould and the staff there that they are supposed to talk to the city manager and the city attorney. Those are the people that Council has delegated to address the issue.

“Mr. Gould is bypassing some things and that’s not really for me to say what he is supposed to do or not supposed to do, but we’re not going to comment on it. We’ll let the professionals handle it – the city manager, the engineers, the city staff take care of it.”

Schreiber: Pre-Treatment Plant Upgrade Underway

Schreiber, in his ninth year at O-At-Ka, said the company is about six to eight weeks away from completing a $6 million upgrade to its on-site pre-treatment facility – action that he said will bring an end to this impasse as the amount of Biochemical Oxygen Demand and Total Suspended Solids will return to acceptable levels.

Until that new pre-treatment facility is operational, O-At-Ka is taking a substantial financial hit.

When it was mentioned that the expense could be as much as $1 million over the next 40 days, Schreiber responded: “That puts our business at risk, it puts our customers at risk, it puts our employees at risk and it puts our farmer owners at risk. Absolutely.”

The CEO said he is aware that the city has to comply with its State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit, but is seeking for “a bridge” to get us to the start-up of the new treatment facility.

“And what we got in exchange was a cease-and-desist (letter from the city). We don’t understand the lack of cooperation coming out of the city,” he said. “And it’s our understanding that the DEC would be willing to work towards a three-part solution. We’ve sent several letters to the city and we’ve not received a response.”

Schreiber said there are four or five different alternatives that would serve to increase the dissolved oxygen levels in the city’s lagoons, which have yet to recover adequately following replacement of the air header system at the Waste Water Treatment Plant in late August.

“Some of them are routine maintenance; getting into the diffusers and lagoons and cleaning them. That would have an immediate impact,” Schreiber advised.

“There’s a device called a venturi, which essentially serves to incorporate oxygen into the lagoons. There are companies that work with hydrogen peroxide, which when added to the lagoons, breaks down into oxygen and water – and essentially elevates the oxygen levels in the lagoons.”

Furthermore, Schreiber said he “fundamentally disagrees that we’re putting the city and the city’s taxpayers at risk.”

Permit: O-At-Ka Would Be Responsible for Fines

He said the city is protected under Section III.4 of the Industrial Sewer Use Permit, as follows:

“If the User [i.e., O-At-Ka] discharges above its Permit thresholds to such a degree that it causes the Publicly Operated Treatment Works (POTW) to violate its SPDES Permit, the User shall be held responsible for the payment of any fines or penalties levied against the POTW. This is in addition to any extra costs associated with handling such discharges as provided for in the Sewer Use Ordinance.”

“O-At-Ka has told City officials both in writing and verbally that it accepts full responsibility for any fines and penalties issued by the DEC or any other regulatory body that are attributable to our discharges,” he added. “We welcome the inclusion of DEC in these discussions regarding regulatory liability.”

Schreiber said O-At-Ka is seeking “a comprehensive, long-term solution to this.”

“We’re not looking for a band-aid. We recognize that the city has to meet its use permit, and we want to be part of the solution. But there seems to be, in our view, a lack of urgency on the city’s part while we’re burning through cash. We would rather channel those dollars to a constructive solution than use them to haul wastewater away.”

He said there are implementable steps that can be taken at the Waste Water Treatment Plant that will allow for the easing of restrictions on O-At-Ka wastewater discharges without impeding the recovery of the ponds.

“O-At-Ka is not seeking permission to discharge indiscriminately to the city nor are we ignoring the impact high strength wastewater can have on the ponds.  However, we are very confident that there are engineering solutions that can wholly offset the impact and further accelerate the health and recovery of the ponds.”

City Manager: 'We Can't Allow Willful Violations'

The Batavian reached out by email to Tabelski and to the DEC’s press office for comment.

Tabelski, speaking to WBTA Radio earlier this week, said O-At-Ka is “an industry here that we value for their employment and for the use of the milk supply that comes from the farms. That’s not lost on me. But we cannot allow willful violations of permits at the city Waste Water Treatment Plant.”

She also said that O-At-Ka officials acknowledged what they need to get to “a place that allows their discharge to be at a permitted level.”

“Right now, they can be at their permitted level, but they have to truck many, many truckloads of waste away. That’s showing that their capacity isn’t in line with their production,” she said.

Schreiber is calling for a “technical conversation that going to lead us to a resolution of this problem.”

Gould agreed, stating, “Collaboration to us is getting the stakeholders in the same room and sit down and solve the problem."

Schreiber said the O-At-Ka board of directors have approved $35 million in capital spending for 2021 and 2022, but “we’ll have to look really hard at where the next capital investment goes.”

He said completion of the pre-treatment facility will result in a permanent fix.

“As I said, we’re just looking for a bridge, and we can’t seem to get cooperation from the city,” he said. “The city seems to be blaming DEC; everybody but themselves, quite frankly.”

Update:

Comment from City Manager Rachael Tabelski: "In response to your inquiry, there continues to be an ongoing and open dialogue between city officials and O-AT-KA regarding discharge issues at the Waste Water Treatment Plant. As we also have communicated, public health and safety as it pertains to these discharge issues is our number one priority so that the WWTP is operating within all its regulatory obligations."

Statement from NYS DEC: "The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) remains committed to working with all involved parties to develop and implement necessary solutions to address these issues. DEC will continue to meet with the city and O-At-Ka Milk Products regarding technical and infrastructure needs, and will convene additional meetings with these parties as these efforts progress."

Photo at top: O-At-Ka CEO Bill Schreiber and Upstate Niagara Chairman of the Board John Gould in front of the new equalization tank that is part of the company's ongoing upgrade of its pre-treatment facility. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

Previously: City sends 'cease and desist' letter to O-At-Ka Milk as issues at waste water treatment plant continue

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October 15, 2021 - 12:45pm
posted by Press Release in Liberty Square Apartments, batavia, veterans, news.

Press release:

Applications are now being accepted with anticipated move-in capability for December 6 for Liberty Square Apartments on East Main Street, Batavia.

Liberty Square is a 28-unit program located at 554 East Main Street, Batavia, NY, that will serve homeless or unstably housed Veterans with disabilities in a Permanent Supportive Housing environment. The 28 units are integrated into a 55-unit, general occupancy community, being developed in partnership with Home Leasing, LLC. The project consists of a 4-story, fully accessible building with a secure entry system, a welcoming community room, discrete staff offices, to include specific space for Eagle Star Housing staff, in-door bike storage, laundry facilities, fitness center, available laptops, raised garden beds, a fenced playground, and on-site parking.

Liberty Square Apartments includes a fully equipped kitchen with a range, refrigerator, microwave, wall-mounted TV, local TV channels with cable available, and in-unit storage. Heat, air conditioning, hot water, trash removal, and electricity are all included in the rent, and on-site laundry facilities are available at no cost to the tenant. Off-street parking is available. Tenants have access to a community room, bike storage, exercise equipment, and a computer lab. There are eight studio apartments and 20 one-bedroom apartments available. Tenant pays 30% of their income as rent and a stipend covers the rest. No security deposit is required.

Applications are now being accepted with an anticipated move-in capability for December 6, 2021. To qualify, you must have served in the Military, be in a housing crisis, and have an identified disability or case management need. Must meet eligibility and income requirements associated with the Low-Income Housing Tax credit program. Staff will aid in completing a housing application to make this determination.

Eagle Star Housing is a not-for-profit organization in New York State that provides housing services for homeless veterans under the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative. They have a 16-bed transitional housing program for homeless veterans in East Pembroke as well as other programs for homeless veterans in Central and Western New York.

Eagle Star has provided more than 960 homeless veterans with over 81,000 nights of safe housing since opening its doors in 2012.

Applications for the Supportive Housing apartments are available at the Eagle Star Housing website:

www.eaglestarhousing.com/supportive-apartment-programs/

Eagle Star Housing is made possible with the generous donations of community members. If you would like to donate today please visit our website: https://eaglestarhousing.com/donate/

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October 15, 2021 - 12:42pm
posted by Press Release in Batavia Downs, City Fire, batavia, news, Operation Warm.

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Press release:

Western Region Off-Track Betting (WROTB) President and CEO Henry Wojtaszek was joined by Batavia Downs employees and members of the Batavia Fire Department as a check for $2,000 was presented to Operation Warm.  Operation Warm provides brand new shoes and coats to needy children across North America.

“As we move into the winter season, we know that some local families are in need of high-quality coats and shoes for their children,” Wojtaszek said. “We have worked alongside and with the City of Batavia Fire Department for many years and we are happy to contribute to causes that they support. “

A portion of proceeds from sold tickets to the Batavia Downs’ Bourbon & Whiskey Fest and Vodka & Gin Fest held in the fall are what make up this contribution.

Greg Ireland, Captain of the City of Batavia Fire Department said, “We are very thankful for this partnership and contribution.  By partnering with Operation Warm we are able to ensure that the money raised by Batavia Downs at their events is staying here with local families.  We appreciate that Batavia Downs recognizes the challenges that many in our community are facing.”

New York State Assemblyman Steve Hawley added, “This generous donation will help keep children throughout our region healthy and comfortable in the cold, something incredibly important as we come to face what’s shaping up to be a tough winter season. I am incredibly grateful to Batavia Downs for their support of Operation Warm, and to the Batavia Fire Department for continuing their work to coordinate this successful, critical program.”

Photo by Howard Owens

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October 15, 2021 - 12:27pm
posted by Press Release in BOCES, news, schools, education.

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Press release:

The Genesee Valley (GV) BOCES School of Practical Nursing proudly graduated 24 students at a ceremony held on October 8 at Celebration Church in Leicester, New York. Brianna Spuck was named valedictorian of the class, and Magdalena Lendzion was recognized as the salutatorian. Instructors Marisa Dale, Jackie VanNorman and Janet Green assisted throughout the ceremony. Heidi Mix, Regional Medical Programs Coordinator, was also on hand to congratulate students and recognize them for all of their hard work and commitment.

Mix shared some thoughts about how this class weathered the challenges of learning during the pandemic.

“This class was our first class to be able to transition back to the classroom and clinical facilities. Coming back into the classroom allowed for a more normal school environment which then, in turn, created some strong bonding to take place amongst the students,” Mix said. “If I have to describe this particular class as a whole, I would say they functioned as a team and respected their instructor as a team does their coach. They worked hard for her and also had some fun together.”

During the ceremony, Dale gave some parting words of wisdom to the graduates.

“As nurses, you have a responsibility to do what is right for your patients.  You have to love what you do and have a passion for your work. Stay involved, and contribute. Positivity and knowledge have power,” Dale said.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, John Cima, Lead Coordinator for the GV BOCES Adult Education Program, announced that each student would receive a credit for payment of their NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) exam. These payments to students are made possible due to Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding.

Graduates of the program must complete a 12-month, 1,200-clock hour program that is certified by the New York State Education Department. Graduates of the program receive a certificate of completion of licensed practical nursing.

The program is designed to prepare graduates for the NCLEX-PN Examination for licensure as a Licensed Practical Nurse. This course is offered in three different sites located in Batavia, Rochester Tech Park in Gates, and Mount Morris, New York. For more information about this program, contact the Adult Education/School of Practical Nursing at (585) 344-7788.

The graduates are:

  • Taylor Alexander
  • Nickesha Anderson
  • Emily Antonucci
  • Jasmine Avery
  • Thomas Brado
  • Jasmine Collier
  • Lisa Dumuhosky
  • Samantha Feldmann
  • Lauren Forsyth
  • Carey Hewitt
  • Ashley Houck
  • Camille Hunter
  • Brandi Jackson
  • Laura Koehl
  • Magdalena Lendzion
  • Taylor McPherson
  • Megan Peterson
  • Portia Read
  • Jenna Scaccia
  • Isaeyah Smith
  • Brianna Spuck
  • Nevin Steward
  • Andrea Wetherwax
  • Brianna Wolfe

Photos: Top photo:  Brianna Spuck, valedictorian of the class, (left) with Heidi Mix, Regional Medical Programs Coordinator.  Bottom photo:  Heidi Mix, Regional Medical Programs Coordinator (right), recognizes Magdalena Lendzion as the class salutatorian.

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October 15, 2021 - 11:53am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Ellicott Station, savarino companies.

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Pre-construction work and environmental testing is taking place today on the grounds of the former Soccio & Della Penna Construction Co. and Santy's Tire Sales locations on Ellicott Street in the city -- the future home of the Ellicott Station project that is part of Batavia's $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative program.

Two employees of Savarino Companies of Buffalo, the company that is behind the mixed-use development (apartments, office, retail and entertainment space), were on site. Indications are that demolition of the buildings will start in November. Photos by Mike Pettinella.

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October 15, 2021 - 11:43am

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Press release:

The Regional Transit Service (RTS), longtime employee Alan Moore, and scholarship winner Ava Flores were honored at the annual meeting of the Mental Health Association of Genesee and Orleans Counties (MHAGO). The event took place on Oct. 7 at Terry Hills Golf Course with 24 people attending.

MHAGO Executive Director Tom Christensen credited the dedication of the staff for keeping the agency open through the pandemic, noting that as an essential business, MHAGO has remained open to in-person services, with no staff layoffs or reduction of hours.

“The COVID-19 crisis highlighted for us how important everyday mental health and wellness practices are to managing social isolation, anxiety, and stress,” Christensen said. “We believe MHAGO services contributed to the emotional resilience of both our participants and our community during these uncertain times.”

RTS also contributed to the community’s well-being, according to MHAGO, by providing free rides to and from medical appointments – including visits essential for mental health – for the two counties’ residents. John Arneth, RTS’ Regional Manager for Genesee & Orleans, accepted the Constance E. Miller Award of Excellence on behalf of the organization. Constance E. Miller, along with a small group of dedicated volunteers, founded the Mental Health Association in 1993. This award honors her commitment to excellence by recognizing individuals and organizations who work to promote mental wellness, instill hope, and improve the quality of life for people living in Genesee and Orleans counties.

“We had some rigorous protocols to follow in order to keep everyone safe, but we were really happy to be able to continue to provide medical transport services during a time that created a lot of anxiety and fear for people,” Arneth said.

MHAGO recognized Alan Moore as a 25-year staff member. Colleagues described Moore as a mild-mannered, versatile, reliable team member who “quietly supports and encourages (MHAGO) participants.” It was also noted that he models self-care by walking regularly and “getting his steps in” each day.

MHAGO awarded the Board of Directors’ Educational Scholarship to Ava Flores, 2021 graduate of both Oakfield-Alabama High School and Genesee Community College. Flores is now studying psychology at Roberts Wesleyan College. The MHAGO scholarship program provides financial support to individuals pursuing higher education in the fields of human or social services. Flores received $500 toward her studies.

Kylee Criscione, a mental health program specialist from the state Office of Mental Health – WNY Field Office, gave a presentation via Zoom. She noted, aptly, that telehealth visits represent one of several ways MHAGO has stepped up to address

the challenges of meeting community needs.

In the annual report distributed at the meeting, Christensen noted that MHAGO Medicaid Managed Care HCBS services increased in 2020 to become the largest local provider of Mental Health HCBS, with 267 combined in-person and telehealth visits across 271 hours of service. “We look forward to further expansion of managed care services through the State’s newly proposed CORE (Community Oriented Empowerment Services) model,” he wrote.

Other noteworthy 2020 stats:

  • A total of 256 persons were served by MHAGO programs, including 186 in the Recovery Center, 147 in the Social Club, and 50 in the Drop-In Center.
  • MHAGO’s Recovery Center provided 5,009 combined in-person and telehealth visits across 3,028 hours of service.
  • Social Club: 3,397 combined in-person and telehealth visits
  • Drop-In Center: 1,726 combined in-person and telehealth visits
  • Warmline: 2,852 outreach messages and 5,879 completed calls
  • The agency also provided 1,014 one-way trips. All transportation staff also provided outreach telehealth calls and wellness checks during office hours.

MHAGO reported $576,030 total support and revenue, with $618,689 in total expenses. The agency ended 2020 with $129,358 cash on hand. The 2020 Financial Statement and Auditors’ Report were prepared by EFPR Group, CPAs, PLLC. Copies of the Audit and Form 990 may be obtained by request from the Mental Health Association of Genesee and Orleans Counties, 25 Liberty Street, Batavia, NY 14020.

“Even in good times,” Christensen said, “a lack of social engagement has been a leading predictor of poor health outcomes, poor quality of life, and shortened lifespans. With Covid bringing out the worst of these troubles, our staff really stepped up and made a big difference. I’m very pleased with our team.”

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October 15, 2021 - 11:38am
posted by Press Release in leaf collection, batavia, news.

Press release:

Citywide leaf collection will begin October 25th, 2021, and will continue until November 24th, 2021.

Residents are asked to rake leaves into piles and leave them in the parkway (un-bagged). Please, place close to curb line/edge of roadway without placing in the street. Do not pile around fire hydrants, trees, utility poles or signposts. Leaf piles should only contain leaves and no branches, grass clippings or other materials.

Leaf operations typically have one crew on the Northside working from Grandview Terrace moving West, North of Main Street, and a second crew on the Southside beginning on River Street moving East in areas South of Main Street. A third crew will work using a vacuum along main roads and numbered routes. It takes about 2 weeks to go through the entire city.

Any resident with leaves can also bring them to the Yard Waste Station until it closes for the season on

December 11th, 2021. The Yard Waste hours are 8 am-2 pm Monday through Friday, 12 pm-6 pm Saturdays through October 30, and then 11 am-5 pm from November 1st through December 11th due to daylight savings. The Yard Waste Station will be closed on November 25th and will officially close for the season after December 11th, 2021.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT LEAF COLLECTION:

  • Leaf piles must be clear of sticks and other debris.
  • Leaf piles must be clear of all animal waste – if animal waste is found in the piles, it will not be picked up
  • Grass clippings, Flower potting’s, Branches, Pumpkins cannot be picked up and residents may bring those items to the Yard Waste Station on Law Street (which will be open through December 11th, 2021)
  • Leaves should not block traffic.
  • Leaves should not be piled near intersection corners. This causes sight issues for motorists/bicyclists/pedestrians.
  • Keep leaf piles clear of drainage ways and catch basins. Blocked drainage leads to localized flooding.
  • Leaves should not be piled around mailboxes, power poles, fences, fire hydrants or other obstacles.
  • Do not park on leaf piles. The heat from a vehicle exhaust system could start a fire.
  • Do not wait to get your leaves out. We will normally collect leaves twice within the month of leaf collection.
  • If it is snowing, we plow first. If it continues to snow, then leaf operations will be suspended.

There is no leaf pickup in the spring.

Contact the Bureau of Maintenance @ 585-345-6400 option 1 if you have any questions.

Comments
October 15, 2021 - 9:20am
posted by Press Release in drug take back day, news.

Press release:

On Saturday, October 23rd, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. law enforcement agencies across Genesee County and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will provide the public the opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

There will be three locations across the county where citizens can dispose of their medications. Sharps will only be accepted at the Batavia location.

The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.

The Batavia Police Department, in conjunction with United Memorial Medical Center, will be accepting prescription drugs and sharps in the Alva Place parking lot across the street from Batavia Showtime (located in the Genesee County Mall), Batavia. The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office will be accepting prescription drugs ONLY at the Pembroke Town Hall, 1145 Main Rd. Corfu. The LeRoy Police Department will be accepting prescription drugs ONLY at their headquarters located at 3 West Main Street, LeRoy.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. 

In addition to DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, there are many other ways to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs every day, including the 11,000 authorized collectors that are available all year long.

The Batavia Police Department Headquarters has one for everyday collection of drugs and sharps located in the rear vestibule at 10 West Main St., Batavia, NY. Containers are also located at the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office on Park Rd, Batavia, and at the LeRoy Police Department.

The FDA also provides information on how to properly dispose of prescription drugs. More information is available here: https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/where-and-how-dispose-unu... For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 23rd Take Back Day event, go to www.DEATakeBack.com.

Comments
October 15, 2021 - 9:14am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Deal of the Day, advertisement.

Reminders of how the Deal of the Day program works:

  • To make purchases, you must be registered. Deal of the Day uses a registration system that is not connected to the registration for commenting on The Batavian (the main user login in the upper left of the homepage).
  • Once re gistered you must sign in using the "sign in" link in this box.
  • You click on the orange button, which appears if the item is not sold out, and it takes you to a PayPal button. This allows you to pay either with your PayPal account or with a credit card/debit card. The login for PayPal is completely separate from our accounts.
  • The first person to successfully complete the PayPal transaction wins the gift certificate.
  • You are eligible to buy the same item only once in a four-month period. We use the registration system to track this for you so you don't have to.
  • Only one gift certificate from the same business PER HOUSEHOLD is allowed in each four-month period. We do not have a way to automatically track duplicate purchases within a household; however, if we notice such a purchase, we reserve the right to cancel the purchase and refund the purchase money. Each individual buyer must use his or her own PayPal account for purchases. It's important that participating businesses not be asked to redeem multiple gift certificates from the same person/family at the same time.
  • Gift certificates should be used within 30 days of receipt.
  • Problems, questions, concerns about the Deal of the Day? Email Howard Owens:   [email protected]
Comments
October 15, 2021 - 9:12am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

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A rollover accident is repoorted in the area of 46 Redfield Parkway, Batavia.

Unknown injuries.

City Fire and Mercy EMS responding.

UPDATE 9:10 a.m.: The accident was apparently the result of a medical issue, accrding to Asst. Chief Chris Camp.  The minivan drifted off the roadway and struck a small tree, pushing it out of the ground and as the minivan road up the trunk of the tree it tipped n its side.  The driver was being treated at the scene by Mercy EMS and is expected to not require transport to a hospital.

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Comments
October 15, 2021 - 8:41am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, news, batavia.

A rollover accident is repoorted in the area of 46 Redfield Parkway, Batavia.

Unknown injuries.

City Fire and Mercy EMS responding.

Comments
October 14, 2021 - 8:44pm

julia_petry_photo.jpg

With all of their weapons on offense, the Batavia High Blue Devils have scored 36 touchdowns en route to a 5-1 record in Section V varsity football competition this season.

On 31 occasions, the Batavia placekicker has trotted out onto the field, looking to put the finishing touches on those scoring drives or spectacular plays that resulted in six points.

----------------

Batavia will be facing Clymer/Sherman/Panama, a Section 6 school, at 7 p.m. Friday at Depew High School to replace the previously scheduled game at Newark/Marion, which is unable to play due to COVID-19.

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petry_1.jpgAnd, SHE has been successful on 28 of those point-after-touchdown attempts, proving herself as a valuable contributor to Coach Brennan Briggs’ team.

She is Julia Petry, (kicking above and photo at right), an 11th-grade scholar-athlete who has put in much time and effort to earn the right to wear jersey No. 40 on the otherwise 31-man Blue Devils’ squad.

“Julia does a very good job kicking PATs for us. She works hard at it and the hard work has paid off,” Coach Briggs said.

After being placed in concussion protocol due to an injury sustained when the team’s bus had an accident returning home two weeks ago, Petry has been cleared to play in this Friday’s game.

She said it was very difficult for her to have to watch from the bench last weekend when Batavia suffered a 27-26 defeat to visiting Honeoye Falls-Lima. The Blue Devils missed on two extra point attempts in that contest.

“Obviously, the whole game I was upset that I couldn’t play,” she said. “I was there on the sidelines, but I wanted to be out there.”

Petry’s journey to becoming Batavia’s varsity kicker (she also shares time on kickoffs) began at a young age, hanging out with older brother, John IV, and other boys when her mom, Jennifer, operated a child care center.

“Growing up I used to take my brother’s toys all the time and play with them,” she recalled. “My mom used to run a daycare center, so I always was around a lot of boys – and had this connection with them; I’ve always thought that I’ve had several older brothers because of that.”

Playing sports became a large part of her life and that continues as she participates in summer soccer and high school football, basketball and (boys) lacrosse. Previously, she was on the girls’ soccer team.

Last season, the 5-foot, 9-inch Petry was the placekicker for the Batavia junior varsity team.

“I kicked during the COVID year on jayvees,” she said, adding that last year was the only time she experienced the fact that football is a contact sport.

“There was one time last season at Livonia when there was a bad snap and it hit my knee, and I actually picked it up and tried to run with it,” she said. “Two Livonia guys just came at me (and tackled her). I actually got up smiling from it, and said, ‘Did you see that?’ Everybody on the sidelines was like, ‘Yeah, Petry!’

This season, she’s hearing the cheers from her father, John; mom, brother and a multitude of Batavia fans who have elevated her to heroine status.

“It definitely feels good,” she said. “There’s a little distance (between her and her teammates) because I’m here to kick. I’m not on the line or whatever. But overall, I feel part of the team -- the family and the community that we have.”

She said she credits Sam Watts of East Aurora, owner of Special Teams Academy, for “making me the kicker that I am.”

“He took me from soccer player to football player. It seems from the outside that they’re very similar but when you get down to the details, there are big, important changes,” she said.

Petry attended Watts’ three-day camp earlier this year and also has received instruction through group sessions. She said she practices what has been preached to her about technique and drills to increase leg strength.

“I use what he taught me every day,” she said. “A bunch of the warm-ups he gave me, I use them every day and incorporate them every day in practice. There’s one – called one-step where there’s one step between you and the ball and that’s a really good warm-up.”

She then shared her pre-kick routine and the way in which she approaches the ball.

“First, I just make sure I’m spotting where I’m kicking,” she said. “So, normally I’ll pick a tree or a branch or something that’s really noticeable so I can always find it; to visualize where I’m placing the ball through the uprights.”

When she takes steps to the side, she starts thinking, “OK, I need to take my jab step, which is my very first step (straight on as she approaches the ball), thinking of the things I need to do to be technically sound. Then, set-up. It’s always one breath, look up through where my target was, and then one breath on looking down.

“Then, I give (holder) Jesse (Reinhart) the cue and I’m gone. I don’t know how many people can hear it, but I’ll look at him and I’ll say, ‘Yeah or I’m good.’ Abel Hammer is the center – he’s been very consistent.”

Asked if Reinhart turns the ball so the laces are on the non-kicking side, Petry said, “We’ve tried to turn it, but sometimes there’s not enough time.”

Point-after-touchdowns are kicked from the 10 and with the 10 yards of the end zone, each one travels 20 yards to the goal posts. Her three misses this season were wide to the left, Petry said.

Briggs said he’s pleased with Petry’s technique and leg strength, also attributing her improvement to time spent at Watts’ camp.

“We have not attempted any field goals this season, but I see her moving the ball back during practice and she does well,” Briggs added. “I am not entirely sure what her range is but I think we could connect on a 25-yard field goal or so.”

Petry is a bit more confident than that, stating that a 30-yard field goal is within her range. On kickoffs, her deepest boot carried to the opposition’s 15.

Looking ahead, Batavia has two more regular season games before sectional playoffs and, beyond that, Petry hopes to be the team’s starting kicker next year, but understands there could be competition for the job.

She said she has thought about kicking in college.

“I know that I will have to work really, really hard to get there, but I also know – myself personally – that if I set my mind to something and I’m driven enough, I could do it,” she said. “Right now, I’ve been college hunting, but focusing on what school academically would be best for me.”

Petry has a 4.097 grade point average (97 on a scale of 100) and is looking to pursue a degree in Physical Therapy. Along with her academics and athletics, she works 16 hours a week at McDonald’s.

All in all, she said she’s making the most of her football career, following in the footsteps of her dad and brother – both former Blue Devils.

“It has been quite an experience, and I’ve loved every moment of it,” she said.

Photo above by Steve Ognibene.

Comments
October 14, 2021 - 7:28pm
posted by Legal Notices in legal notices.

Public Notice:

East Pembroke Fire District will be holding its 2022 Budget Hearing on Tuesday October 19, 2021, at 7:00 pm.   It will be held at the East Pembroke District Hall located at 8655 Barrett Drive Batavia NY 14020.

October 14, 2021 - 7:26pm
posted by Legal Notices in legal notices.

Public Notice:

Please note that the Genesee County Water System Hookup Administrative Review Committee will be meeting on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 9:00 AM in the Large Conference Room of County Building 2, 3837 West Main Street Rd., Batavia, NY 14020 to review three water hookup authorization requests in the Towns of LeRoy, Byron, and Elba. Agenda and meeting materials are available upon request from Erin Pence, Deputy Director of Planning at [email protected] or (585) 815-7901.

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